Change the World Challenge
Change The World Challenge

THE CHANGE THE WORLD CHALLENGE is a twice yearly contest to develop innovative, technological ideas with the potential of changing the world. The Challenge is open to all current RPI students, but interdisciplinary team submissions are particularly encouraged. It is a twice-yearly competition to develop innovative technology ideas with the potential of changing the world in energy, water, trust, security, and other areas. Read about the program's inception here.

Sean O’Sullivan’s Hear Sean O’Sullivan’s vision for the Challenge, Watch Video

View Sean O’Sullivan’s Entrepreneur of the Year keynote presentation, Watch Video
Why Participate?

A chance to meet and work with like-minded students on something really important.

  • Each semester, a maximum of 10 awards will be presented and winning individual or team entries will share an overall pool of $10,000 that will be divided and awarded equally to winning solutions that improve the human condition.
  • An opportunity to get an early validation of your idea.
  • A chance to actually CHANGE THE WORLD!
What Do We Look For

We are looking for big ideas in the areas of:

  • Energy- Energy conservation and generation is one of the biggest problems facing the world today. This problem can only worsen as the demand for energy in emerging countries like China and India increases. What big ideas can the U.S. take to decrease its energy use or increase its energy generation?
  • Water- Water conservation, purification and recycling is a major problem for developing countries. What big ideas can help developing countries, especially in North Africa and the middle east, improve their water situation?
  • Trust- Distrust between countries is a problem facing the world today. Stereotyping and lack of understanding led to many conflicts over the years. What big ideas can the U.S. take to improve understanding and reduce distrust among nations?
  • Security- Another problem facing the U.S. and other countries is protecting its citizens from external threats and from everyday crime domestically. What big ideas can help reduce local crime?
  • Other Areas- Please provide any ideas that you feel strongly about that would improve the common purposes of everyday life.
Spring 2013 Change the World Challenge Winners:
Spring 2007 CTWC Winners

Ten student submissions were recently selected as winners of Rensselaer's "Change the World Challenge" idea competition for Spring 2013. Undergraduate and graduate students from Rensselaer’s schools campus–wide submitted proposals to the contest. Twenty two students – representing ten entries – were named winners and will receive funding to pursue their ideas further. Created in 2005 by Rensselaer alumnus Sean O’Sullivan ’85, the competition is intended to support entrepreneurship education and inspire ideas to improve the human condition by providing cash awards of $1,000 or more for ideas that will make the world a better place.

Full Article...

Learn from prior winners’ success. Hear how they think as they discuss their ideas, experiences and advice.

Videos   Details
2012-2013 Winners   Spring 2013 winners. View Detail  View Detail
    Fall 2012 winners. View Detail  View Detail
2011-2012 Winners Watch Video  Watch Video   Spring 2012 winners. View Detail  View Detail
  Fall 2011 winners. View Detail  View Detail
2010-2011 Winners Video Interviews. Watch Video  Watch Video   Spring 2011 winners. View Detail  View Detail
    Fall 2010 winners. View Detail  View Detail
2009-2010 Winners Video Interviews. Watch Video  Watch Video   Spring 2010 winners. View Detail  View Detail
      Fall 2009 winners. View Detail  View Detail
2008 - 2009 Winners Video Interviews. Watch Video  Watch Video   Spring 2009 winners. View Detail  View Detail
      Fall 2008 winners. View Detail  View Detail
      Spring 2008 winners. View Detail  View Detail
Spring 2007 Awards Event Video. Watch Video  Watch Video   Fall 2007 Challenge winners. View Detail  View Detail

Competitions  
Read about 2007 Challenge winners success in international competition. View Detail  View Detail
See 2007 Challenge winner's 500,000 Euros presentation at Green Challenge competition. View Detail  Watch Video
2013 Best-of-the-Best Award

A special $5,000 grant has been created to help accelerate traction for the 2013 Change The World Challenge team that demonstrates a strong commitment and progress in pursuing their idea to commercialization.
Click here for details on the 2013 winning team.
Click here for details on the 2012 winning team.
Click here for details on the 2011 winning team.
Click here for details on the 2010 winning team.

Submission Date for 2013

The entry deadline for Fall 2013 entries will be Monday, November 11th.

To better understand the competition’s criteria and what the judges look for, attend the Pre-Entry Information Session on TBA at the Multi-Disciplinary Design Lab (MDL) in the Jonsson Engineering Center.

Award Announcements:

The awards for Fall 2013 will be declared on Sunday, December 1st.

These are being sponsored by Rensselaer alumnus; business and social entrepreneur, Sean O′ Sullivan. To read more about Sean O′ Sullivan please click here.

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